Nepal Archives — Page 2 of 6


The Nepali Reporter was the first to carry a story on the Ford Foundation supported course being conducted in Dhulikhel, July 14-17, 2017. The training organized by LIRNEasia, a Sri Lankan think-tank, Internet Society Nepal Chapter and Centre for Law and Technology, is engrossed on multifarious issues relating to internet and information as inclusion in information society, affordable broadband of adequate quality, services and applications that are of value to Nepali users, broadband infrastructures, measures to enhance and assure trust and security, ICT in disaster risk reduction and disaster response, demand size research and the research techniques as searching and managing data, and utilization of internet.
In late 2015 I wrote that: “All the fuss has been about Digital India. But India has fallen back six places to 131, despite improving its IDI score from 2.14 to 2.69 in the ICT Development Index. Nepal, which does not have a funded and actively promoted digital strategy, has advanced four places to 136th place.
A course with the following objectives, attended by over 30 persons from all sectors of Nepal society, will commence on 14th July. To enable members of Nepal civil-society groups and media personnel marshal available research and evidence for effective participation in broadband policy and regulatory processes including interactions with media, thereby facilitating and enriching policy discourse on means of increasing broadband access by the poor and persons with disabilities. Those from government and the private sector will also benefit. The objective of the course is to produce discerning and knowledgeable consumers of research who are able to engage in broadband policy and regulatory processes. At the end of the course attendees will:  Be able to find and assess relevant research and evidence  Be able to summarize the research in a coherent and comprehensive manner  Have an understanding of broadband policy and regulatory processes in Nepal The course is supported by the Ford Foundation and is the seventh in a series of courses offered in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka since 2013.
I was working on some comparative numbers. Most of these are recent and from reliable, credible sources. Interesting insights. Most people think Facebook use is a subset of Internet use. But in SE Asia, Internet use is always lower than Facebook use.
Organized by LIRNEasia and Internet Society Nepal (ISOC Nepal) (with support from the Ford Foundation). Dates: 14th – 17th July 2017 Location: To be decided OBJECTIVES The objective of the four-day residential course is to produce discerning and knowledgeable consumers of research who are able to engage in broadband policy and regulatory processes. At the end of the course attendees will: − Be able to find and assess relevant research & evidence − Be able to summarize the research in a coherent and comprehensive manner − Understand broadband policy and regulatory processes in Nepal − Have the necessary tools to improve their communication skills − Have some understanding of how media function and how to effectively interact with media WHO MAY APPLY We will be selecting 25 participants (including junior – mid level officers of government and regulatory agencies, university students, lecturers, academics, media personnel and other civil society officers working in related fields) to participate in the course. We hope to have a group of participants diverse in experience and discipline as this would enrich the discussion and give different perspectives of the issues related to broadband. FUNDING • Lowest-cost airfare to and from Location (where applicable).

Living history: Gyanendra’s Law

Posted on June 7, 2017  /  0 Comments

The consequences of throwing the kill switch on the Internet are set out in Gyanendra’s Law and its various exceptions. In this context, an interview with the editor of the Kathmandu Post who experienced the throwing of the kill switch in Nepal by King Gyanendra himself is illuminating: UA: What was the impact of the internet shutdown on the media? PP: It was very, very difficult. At the time, all our correspondents were using the internet to send news and it became very chaotic to manage the newsroom. We were not in a position to send reporters to events.
It was barely a month after LIRNEasia conducted a course on broadband policy and regulation in Nagarkot, that Nepal was affected by the Ghorka Earthquake. Our hearts went out for the people of Nepal who suffered from a series of tremblors, power and communication outages and many difficulties. We managed to convey some support for the immediate relief activities undertaken by our partner, the Internet Society of Nepal. But we concluded that what would be most valuable would be a contribution in the form of an assessment of how the communication system stood up to the earthquake and what lessons could be learned to make networks more resilient. That report, based on field visits and extensive consultations with those who directly experienced the problems, is now public here.

LIRNEasia at INET Kathmandu

Posted on March 23, 2016  /  0 Comments

The Internet Society’s Asia-Pacific Bureau together with Internet Society Nepal Chapter organised INET Kathmandu from 17-18 March 2016. This event brought together international agencies, rapid response groups and local stakeholders involved in disaster planning, management and relief services.  LIRNEasia research study on the “Assessment of Nepal’s Internet and Telecommunication Damage and Losses: Lessons from the 2015 Earthquake” carried jointly by LIRNEasia and Internet Society Nepal Chapter was presented by Nuwan Waidyanatha, Senior Research Fellow of LIRNEasia on the second day of the event.  
Pakistan has officially allowed private carriers to terrestrially plug the country with all the four neighbors including India. This multidimensional landmark decision makes Pakistan the buckle of South Asia-Central Asia telecoms belt. This route is embedded in our proposed trans-Asian connectivity for affordable broadband. It took us three years to convince ESCAP, which dubs our concept “Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway.” Pakistan currently exports internet bandwidth to Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
All the fuss has been about Digital India. But India has fallen back six places to 131, despite improving its IDI score from 2.14 to 2.69 in the ICT Development Index. Nepal, which does not have a funded and actively promoted digital strategy, has advanced four places to 136th place.
I had to read this op-ed that ran in a Nepal newspaper several times. The author, a former advisor to the former President of South Korea, believes that an application that picks up on fluctuations in Internet traffic to give people advance warning of 30 seconds to two minutes has relevance to post-quake Nepal. I was just wondering how the warning would be transmitted in a country where Internet access is not ubiquitous (according to latest ITU data Nepal had 13.3 Internet users per 100 people); and what one can actually do with 30 seconds to two minutes warning even if one had a computer, it was connected to the Internet and one was at the machine. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on ensuring buildings are built to code?
Disaster response is an important element in the disaster management cycle. Post Nepal earthquake, a group of volunteers (Kathmandu Living Labs) is using crowd-sourcing for disaster response. They started their operations within 24 hours after the earthquake and consist of 36 locals and more that 4300 supporters from around the world. They use crisis mapping technique to map thousands of reports that come in to their workstation asking for relief. OpenStreetMap, a free editable map is used by them for this endeavor.
All eyes are on Nepal as the country is recovering from the earthquake that occurred a few weeks ago. This article discusses progressive trends that exist in Nepal despite its political instability. Uncensored internet, freedom of speech and inclusion of minorities are lessons that other countries in the region can learn from Nepal.
I started writing this the day the news came of the earthquake. But it seemed unlikely to get published in Nepal. So I added some language on applicability to other countries. Earthquakes happen. Even if most buildings survived, some would collapse.
Washington Post refers to Doug Madory as, “The man who can see the Internet.” Unsurprisingly he has been monitoring Nepal’s state of Internet since earthquake struck on April 25. Outages of Nepalese data centers, ISPs and enterprises have been graphically diagnosed in Doug’s report. A recent evaluation of Internet infrastructure in South Asia commissioned by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) classified Nepal’s international connectivity as ‘weak’ and its fixed and mobile infrastructure as ‘limited’. While the loss of Internet connectivity pales in comparison to the loss of life, the ability to communicate both domestically and internationally will be crucial in coming days for the coordination of relief efforts already underway.
As many know, LIRNEasia is engaged with Nepal. We work with the Internet Society of Nepal and have long-standing good relations with the Nepal Telecom Authority. Late March we were in Nagarkot, about an hour away from Kathmandu and quite close to now devastated Bakhtapur. As a knowledge-based organization with ten plus years of experience in disaster risk reduction work, our first reaction was knowledge based. But we seldom stop there.